Saturday, December 16, 2017
The encounter is very humanistic in spite of the technology and involves a lot of artificial intelligence in the form of voice interaction. There is also plenty of newer user interfaces - transparent augmented reality medical records - and instant appointment and medical record searching.
Another article to read for that class is by Vannevar Bush called "As We May Think", written in July 1945. Dr. Bush was the Director of Scientific Research and Development for the United States Government. He writes about something he calls a "memex" which would be very much like the computers we are using today. At that time, there was an explosion of scientific knowledge around the world but there was no way to organize that knowledge or search on it. It is an interesting article to read if you try to imagine what someone writing the article today would have to say about technology or medicine 70 years from now, and actually coming to close to painting an accurate picture about it. If technology is changing exponentially, will that even be possible?
The explosion of knowledge has continued since then and we collect, distribute and analyze it daily as it arrives in our twitter and facebook feeds. A lot of the information that can be gleaned about the future of eHealth is thus kind of "grey literature" and not something that you can search and find on PubMed. These days I find viewing video stories on futurism.com the best ways I know to become excited about the future. "The pull of the future is greater than the push from the past" - I am still trying to find out which famous philosopher or scientist said that.
Here are just a few of the sources suggestive of the future of eHealth that I have been following with interest. The first is Ray Kurzweil and his Accelerating Intelligence website. Ray is a computer scientist and inventor who believes in transhumanism and indefinite life extension. His group is always following the latest scientific advances and inventions of all kinds, and not just ones related to health technology. For example, I just read today a story they posted about a new kind of RFID tag for patients. This tag:
The RFID tags measure internal body motion, such as a heart as it beats or blood as it pulses under skin. Powered remotely by electromagnetic energy supplied by a central reader, the tags use a new concept called “near-field coherent sensing.” Mechanical motions (heartbeat, etc.) in the body modulate (modify) radio waves that are bounced off the body and internal organs by passive (no battery required) RFID tags.
The modulated signals detected by the tag then bounce back to an electronic reader, located elsewhere in the room, that gathers the data. Each tag has a unique identification code that it transmits with its signal, allowing up to 200 people to be monitored simultaneously.
A recent news feed I have been following is the Medical Futurist, Dr. Bertalan Mesko. Recently Dr. Mesko has had some involvement consulting with the Government of Canada, as you may read in his article: "Canada Brings Automation to Healthcare: An Example for Governments to Follow". Really worth following on Twitter or Facebook.
Another group that is interesting, but they are more about the current state and the breaking trends of Medicine and eHealth, is the Exponential Medicine group lead by Dr. Daniel Kraft- a part of the Singularity University. Similarly, there is the ongoing work and research of Dr. Eric Topol. Most of the students in my eHealth class that I was facilitating hadn't even heard of Dr. Topol so I was a bit taken aback.
In short, if you are not interested in the future of eHealth, I don't think there is any way that one would appreciate the changes that are currently going on. In fact, the guest lecturer at the McMaster future of eHealth class, Dr. Ted Scott, Vice President Research & Chief Innovation Officer, did not talk about the future so much as he did about current innovations that are starting within the Hamilton Health Sciences. And this just made me think of something I learned when I was a student of anthropology many years ago, that yesterday's pseudo-science and magic is todays science.
Monday, November 6, 2017
File this email I received from a Peter Diamandis subscription list under the Future of eHealth?
Recently I interviewed my friend Ray Kurzweil at the Googleplex for a 90-minute (live) webinar on disruptive and dangerous ideas, a prelude to my fireside chat with Ray at Abundance 360 this January. (Watch the replay here.)
Ray is my friend and the Co-founder and Chancellor of Singularity University. He is also an XPRIZE Trustee, the Director of Engineering at Google, and one of the best predictors of our exponential future.
It’s my pleasure to share with you 3 compelling ideas that came from our conversation.
1. The Nation-State Will Soon Be Irrelevant
Historically, we humans don’t like change. We like waking up in the morning and knowing that that the world is the same as the night before.
That’s one reason why government institutions exist: to stabilize society.
But how will this change in 20 or 30 years? What role will stabilizing institutions play in a world of continuous, accelerating change?
“Institutions stick around, but they change their role in our lives,” Ray explained. “They already have. The nation-state is not as profound as it was. Religion used to direct every aspect of your life, minute to minute. It’s still important in some ways, but it's much less important, much less pervasive. [It] plays a much smaller role in most people's lives than it did, and the same is true for governments.”
Ray continues: “We are fantastically interconnected already. Nation-states are not islands anymore. So we're already much more of a global community. The generation growing up today really feels like world citizens much more than ever before, because they're talking to people all over the world and it's not a novelty.”
I’ve previously shared my belief that national borders have become extremely porous, with ideas, people, capital and technology rapidly flowing between nations. In decades past, your cultural identity was tied to your birthplace. In the decades ahead, your identify is more a function of many other external factors. If you love space, you’ll be connected with fellow space-cadets around the globe more than you’ll be tied to someone born next door.
2. We’ll hit longevity escape velocity before we realize we’ve hit it.
Ray and I share a passion for extending the healthy human lifespan.
I frequently discuss Ray’s concept of “longevity escape velocity” — the point at which, for every year that you’re alive, science is able to extend your life for more than a year.
Scientists are continually extending the human lifespan, helping us cure heart disease, cancer, and eventually neurodegenerative disease. This will keep accelerating as technology improves.
During my discussion with Ray, I asked him when he expects we’ll reach “escape velocity...”
His answer? “I predict it’s likely just another 10 to 12 years before the general public will hit longevity escape velocity.”
“At that point, biotechnology is going to have taken over medicine,” Ray added. “The next decade is going to be a profound revolution.”
From there, Ray predicts that nanorobots will “basically finish the job of the immune system,” with the ability to seek and destroy cancerous cells and repair damaged organs.
As we head into this sci-fi-like future, your most important job for the next 15 years is to stay alive. “Wear your seatbelt until we get the self-driving cars going,” Ray jokes.
The implications to society will be profound. While the scarcity-minded in government will react saying, “Social Security will be destroyed,” the more abundance-minded will realize that extending a person’s productive earning lifespace from 65 to 75 or 85 years old would be a massive boom to the GDP.
3. Technology will help us define and actualize human freedoms.
The third dangerous idea from my conversation with Ray is about how technology will enhance our humanity, not detract from it.
You may have heard critics complain that technology is making us less human, and increasingly disconnected.
Ray and I share a slightly different viewpoint: that technology enables us to tap into the very essence of what it means to be human.
“I don’t think humans even have to be biological,” explained Ray. “I think humans are the species that changes who we are.”
Ray argues that this began when humans developed the earliest technologies -- fire and stone tools. These tools gave people new capabilities, and became extensions of our physical bodies.
At its base level, technology is the means by which we change our environment, and change ourselves. This will continue, even as the technologies themselves evolve.
“People say, ‘Well, do I really want to become part machine?’ You're not even going to notice it,” says Ray, “because it's going to be a sensible thing to do at each point.”
Today, we take medicine to fight disease and maintain good health, and would likely consider it irresponsible if someone refused to take a proven, life-saving medicine.
In the future, this will still happen -- except the medicine might have nanobots that can target disease, or will also improve your memory so you can recall things more easily.
And because this new medicine works so well for so many, public perception will change. Eventually, it will become the norm… as ubiquitous as penicillin and ibuprofen are today.
In this way, ingesting nanorobots, uploading your brain to the cloud, and using devices like smart contact lenses can help humans become, well, better at being human.
Ray sums it up: “We are the species that changes who we are to become smarter and more profound, more beautiful, more creative, more musical, funnier, sexier.”
Speaking of sexuality and beauty, Ray also sees technology expanding these concepts. “In virtual reality, you can be someone else. Right now, actually changing your gender in real reality is a pretty significant, profound process, but you could do it in virtual reality much more easily and you can be someone else. A couple could become each other and discover their relationship from the other's perspective.”
In the 2030s, when Ray predicts sensor-laden nano robots will be able to go inside the nervous system, virtual or augmented reality will become exceptionally realistic, enabling us to “be someone else and have other kinds of experiences.”
Why Dangerous Ideas Matter
Why is it so important to discuss dangerous ideas?
I often say that the day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.
By consuming and considering a steady diet of “crazy ideas,” you train yourself to think bigger and bolder… a critical requirement for making impact.
As humans, we are linear and scarcity-minded.
As entrepreneurs, we must think exponentially and abundantly.
At the end of the day, the formula for a true breakthrough is equal to “having a crazy idea” you believe in, plus the passion to pursue that idea against all naysayers and obstacles.
Join Me1. A360 Executive Mastermind: This is the sort of conversation I explore at my Executive Mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective, for 360 abundance and exponentially minded CEOs (running $10M to $10B companies). If you’d like to be considered, apply here.
Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.2. Abundance-Digital Online Community: I’ve also created a Digital/Online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance-Digital.
Abundance-Digital is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs – those who want to get involved and play at a higher level. Click here to learn more.
Sunday, October 8, 2017